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Ravn, Erik: Beltane Born-Songs by Erik Ravn

Any album the accompanying press materials declare is “for fans of adventurous and melodic rock like Gary Moore, Magnum, Meat Loaf and Wuthering Heights” deserves a solid listen. Indeed, Beltane Born-Songs by Erik Ravn is the solo album from Erik Ravn, the founder, songwriter and guitarist for the Danish prog-metal band Wuthering Heights. and the album’s subtitle is a nod to Jim Steinman, the songwriter who put his name at the bottom of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. The 13 songs on Beltane Born (including the two brief instrumentals that bookend the album) don’t quite approach the magnitude of that album, but they come close to some of Magnum’s work. This is epic-sounding, Celtic-tinged classic rock that just wouldn't feel right released under the Wuthering Heights name.

That’s not to say the album isn’t worthwhile. Quite the contrary, actually. “The Great Escape” clocks in at a rousing 10 minutes and the progressive doom/AOR-ness of “North” lasts almost as long. On “To the Streets (incl. The Rebel Jig),” Ravn sounds like Udo Dirkschneider would in an Irish band, while on “May Queen” he lets his gruff vocals soar. “The Elusive Sunset,” meanwhile, allows Ravn to show off his folk tendencies before the song spirals into a rocker that would have killed on rock radio back in the day. “Another Night In the Life of a Blues Singer” leans more toward metal, and a smattering of instrumentals throughout showcase Ravn's musical prowess. All of this was mastered by Jacob Hansen (Amaranthe, Evergrey, Delain) -- so you know it sounds good.

In the press materials referenced earlier, Ravn states that “this is basically the kind of album that I would really want to hear -- as a music fan.” Us, too.

Track Listing:
1. Prologue: Forest Call
2. The Great Escape
3. To The Streets (incl. The Rebel Jig)
4. May Queen
5. The Elusive Sunset
6. Emerald Greens, Sapphire Blues (for Gaz)
7. Another Night in the Life of a Blues Singer
8. The Rain
9. Dreamers and Wandering Men
10. Forest Call (reprise)
11. North
12. Whisper on the Wind
13. Epilogue: Skoggangr

Added: January 7th 2022
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Nagelfest Music
Hits: 961
Language: english

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